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The Accessible Yet Powerful Certina DS Super PH1000M STC Edition

A highly capable dive watch that supports non-profit Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC).

| By Brice Goulard | 4 min read |

In recent years, Swatch Group-owned brand Certina has demonstrated its capability of creating powerful, capable and nicely designed dive watches at fair prices. Take the example of the DS Super PH500M, the DS PH200M, or the DS Action Diver to understand my point. Last year, the brand pushed things even further with a watch drawing inspiration from a famous 1970s model, genuine deep diving credentials and, once again, a real sense of accessibility: the DS Super PH1000M. Reinforcing its long-term collaboration with the non-profit Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC), established in 2017, Certina now introduces the DS Super PH1000M STC Edition with an appealing new colour scheme. 

Modelled after an early-1970s watch already named the DS-2 or DS-3 Super PH1000M, the re-edition released last year made quite an impression on us and watch enthusiasts for its balance between retro charm, strong diving capacities (respecting the depth rating of the original watch) and a clever technical approach to make it accessible. Before looking at the STC part of this special edition, let’s look back at the watch itself. With the DS Super PH1000M, we’re looking at a solid piece of kit, a dive watch made for the depths. A sizeable watch with a 43.50mm tonneau-shaped stainless steel case, this DS Super is not meant to remain discreetly under a cuff. With its 14mm-plus thickness, a screw-down crown and a helium escape valve at 9 o’clock, it’s a tool watch, period. And one that can go down a full kilometre underwater (100 bars of pressure resistance).

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Besides the case’s barrel shape, the most distinctive element of the design is the bezel. Not only is it originally shaped and sits high on top of the case, with a deep notched grip, but it’s also equipped with a security system to prevent rotating it by accident. This unidirectional bezel (already a safety system) needs to be pushed against the case to rotate. The HEV is an automatic release valve version, seamlessly opening and closing based on pressure differentials, ensuring convenience and peace of mind for deep-diving enthusiasts. The solid caseback is screwed onto the case, and once again, its shape brings a reassuring solidity feeling. It is decorated with a special Sea Turtle Conservancy (STC) logo for the occasion.

What really makes this DS Super PH1000M STC Edition different from last year’s classic black model or limited orange version is the dial and the bezel. Both now have a rather nice sea-blue tone, and the aluminium bezel is equipped with a white fully-graduated 60-minute scale. The geometric markers, applied on top of the dial, bring the desired 1970s legacy to the watch and ensure great contrast day and night. The large hands are also rather funky in shape yet highly efficient. Several orange accents have been added to the dial, introducing a flash of colour and practicality, allowing the all-important minutes hand to stand out.

And if you’re wondering about the presence of a date… Remember that the original Certina DS-2 Super PH1000M was used in the 1970 Tektite II programme, which saw five aquanauts living and conducting research in a diving base on the seabed for 10 to 20 days. In this context, the date function was essential. In addition, its white background echoes the marker at 9 o’clock and feels quite nicely integrated. For once, I do not mind this feature too much.

Under the hood, the choice was made to rely on the modern, powerful, yet mechanical, simple Powermatic 80 movement. Based on the ETA 2824 architecture, thus a tried-and-tested movement, the Powermatic 80 adds a longer power reserve of 80 hours as well as an anti-magnetic Nivachron balance spring. A movement choice that guarantees precision and power without inflated costs.

Worn on an FKM Rubber strap with orange stitching, the Certina DS Super PH1000M STC Edition is released as a special, non-limited edition and is now available at CHF 915 or EUR 1,035 – very appealing for such a blend of specs and design. In addition to this budget-friendly price tag, a portion of the proceeds from sales goes directly to the STC to protect sea turtles. Certina also produces videos and content regarding STC projects, organises joint press events and uses special POS displays to raise awareness.

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4 responses

  1. Looks great in Turquoise! I have the Orange Limited edition coming soon.

  2. will this watch feel bloated after the honeymoon stage is over (>3 months)?

  3. The watch looks nice and very readable dial also the strap is very comfortable and washable which means no arm cheese. Also affordable.

  4. “What really makes this DS Super PH1000M STC Edition different from last year’s classic black model or limited orange version is the dial and the bezel.” – and obviously, the completely different caseback. Also, I think it was the 500, not the 1000, that was used in Tektite.

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